May 5, 2019

Off-Road Riding: The Best ATV Trails by Region

Trail Boss

Looking for the best off road trails around the country?

When asked where you want to spend your next getaway, what do you picture yourself doing? Me? I’m almost always riding an ATV through some fantastic natural landscape. If you’ve ever been off-road riding, then you know the destinations are as good as limitless on the best ATVs.

best atv trails near you

If you haven’t been off-roading and recently caught the “I must buy a four-wheeler because what is life without one” bug, then take a look at these stunning off-road trails to see what you’ve been missing out on all this time.

Want to visit an off-road trail in the Northeast? Here’s where you should go.

ATV Trails in the North East

You don’t have to be a native to appreciate this part of the United States. Boasting a diverse climate, the northeast region of the U.S. will not disappoint anyone planning to visit.

Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area: Located near Shamokin, Pennsylvania, the AOAA is one of the newest riding areas in the country, and will continue to expand as different phases are completed. Situated at the heart of the Pennsylvania coal region, the AOAA features 250 miles of trails (each of varying degrees of difficulty), and is located centrally between New York, Philadelphia, D.C., and Baltimore. Here you’ll find muddy, rocky, and wooded trails beyond compare!

Maine Interconnected Trail System: A real gem in the good ol’ U-S-of-A, the Maine Interconnected Trail System is a densely forested area protected and maintained by various government agencies. It offers 6,000 miles worth of trail systems, most of which can be legally ridden, including those belonging to the Rocky Mountain Trail Park, Mt. Blue State Park, and Coburn Mountain. It is also teeming with wildlife, moose and bear sightings among the most common.

If scenery is the true focus of your off-roading excursion, plan to visit these trails in the fall, when the foliage is lush and the colors can make a grown man cry (I should know). Just be sure to dress warmly since temperatures can get as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Check out these off-road trails in the Southeast. You won’t be disappointed!

ATV Trails in the Southeast

The ATV recreational areas in this region of the U.S. invite travelers to plan your adventure, and for good reason. While some trails offer a more relaxed getaway in nature, others are a bit more complex, featuring obstacles such as ruts, washouts, steep climbs, and deep mud.

Brimstone Recreation Area: Travel to the northeastern part of Tennessee to visit what ATV lover’s call ‘ATV paradise.’ This particular recreation area is situated on 19,000 acres, which equates to 600 miles of wooded trails, riverside views, and scenic overlooks atop the various mountain passes. Each trail is clearly marked to display its difficulty level, but take care—you will encounter some elevation changes while in transit.

Hatfield-McCoy Trail System: Along the Hatfield-McCoy, riders will experience all that southern West Virginia has to offer. Possessing over 700 miles of ATV trails, the H-M Trail System is the most famous off-highway vehicle trail system in the world. Open 365 days a year, each of the eight trails allows you to visit neighboring “ATV-friendly” towns and their local businesses. Plans to extend the system another 2,000 miles are currently in the making.

Needless to say, those who have ridden these trail systems would likely all agree that ATV-riding is not for the faint of heart! So be cautious of your experience level before tackling these guys.

Off-roading trails in the Midwest are full of potential, too! Take a look.

ATV Trails in the Midwest

True, the Midwest isn’t the most densely populated region of the U.S., but that doesn’t mean the outdoors thrills are in short supply too.

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula: Bordered by Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, and Wisconsin, Michigan’s UP is incredibly beautiful. Currently, the state boasts a total of 4,000 miles of OHV-legal off-road trails, but the most peaceful and scenic ones reside in the UP. Since the area is pretty broad, out-of-towners who wish to access the trails in the UP should travel through Green Bay, Wisconsin, along Interstate 141.

Iron County, Wisconsin: Coming full-circle, Wisconsin also boasts some reputable trail systems. Most notable are the ones in Iron County, where ATV enthusiasts gather at the two biggest jamborees in the country to celebrate the sport they love so dearly. There are more than 200 miles of routes and trails in the county, each one offering a variety of pit stops along the way.  

Whether you’re looking for a little peace and quiet, or a heck of a good time at one of the local ATV jamborees, the trail systems in the Midwest are full of potential.

Ever wonder what off-road trails in the Southwest would look like?

ATV Trails in the Southwest

I grew up in the Southwest, so you could say I’m a bit partial to it. Still, there are few who could deny its breathtaking views or humble charm. Be warned, though, this part of the U.S. can get dreadfully hot in the summer, so a springtime trip is in your best interest.

River Run ATV Park: Everything’s bigger in Texas, right? Including west of Jacksonville, Texas, where mud-riding at River Run’s annual March Mudd Mayhem event promises big thrills. Open 24 hours a day, River Run exposes riders to 2,000 acres of varied terrain, including rolling hills and bottomless mud holes. There are several miles of dry trails around the property, too, all leading through the wooded Neches River bottom.

Hidden Falls Adventure Park: Located in Marble Falls, Texas, Hidden Falls Adventure Park has something for every off-road enthusiast. With 240 miles of trails consisting of everything from soft- and hard-packed dirt, to rocky dirt trails and solid rock sections, the park’s scenery is pretty hard to beat. While you’re there, take a dip in one of the park’s natural springs, or hit the bullseye at one of the various gun and archery ranges.

Do yourself a favor while you’re in the area and check out the local Tex-Mex cuisine. It’s nothing short of a dream come true for Mexican-food lovers, I assure you.

These ATV trails in the Northwest will leave you speechless, guaranteed.

Off Road Trails in the Northwest

I recently visited the Northwest, and the pictures just don’t do it justice. While there are plenty of must-see sights in this region of the U.S., I’d like to bring your attention to two in particular.

Paiute ATV Trail System: With so much diversity to offer, the Paiute Trail System in South Central Utah passes through multiple towns, and boasts an impressive 2,800 miles of trails that take you through jaw-dropping Aspen groves, Fishlake National Forest, and plenty of slick terrain (2WD vehicles, beware). The best time to visit this trail is any time between the spring and fall months.  

Imperial Sand Dunes: Situated in Brawley, California, between Coachella Canal and the Mexican border, the Imperial Sand Dunes (most commonly referred to as ‘Glamis’) is a true “off-road playground.” The dunes are open year-round, but experienced ATV riders will warn beginners not to visit during the summer months, as temperatures can rise in excess of 100 degrees. Here, you’ll enjoy a whopping 20,000 acres of sand dunes of varying difficulty, with Competition and Oldsmobile Hills being the most frequented dunes in the area.

Each one of these trails is sure to put your four-wheeler to the test and promises plenty of thrills along the way. If you get your thrills on two wheels instead of four, though, visit Top 10 Dirt Bike Trails in the U.S. and discover the best dirt bike trails.  

Wondering what to bring with you on the off-road trail?

The conditions of your ride will vary depending on where you choose to travel, so make sure to plan accordingly. For safe measure, double-check with the park or trail you plan to visit and see if a permit is required to ride off-road vehicles in the area. It’s possible you’ll need to sign a waiver in some cases, too.

As far as ATV supplies go, pack the essentials. If you’ve got some experience under your belt, then you know fuel, tow straps (or something similar), and protective clothing are musts. Gear includes boots (preferably ones that cover your ankles), goggles, gloves, long pants, and shirts with sleeves. Don’t cut corners when it comes to protective gear, guys, especially if you’re planning to take your dirt bike.

Pro tip: Baby wipes are great for cleansing yourself of dirt and grime after a ride (oh yes, you will get dirty). You can even use them to wipe debris from your goggles, which is inevitable when you’re riding off road.

Of course, you should always plan to bring water since you’ll be spending quite a bit of time on the trail. You’ll want to replenish whatever you sweat out that day, so if you’ve got room, be generous. And for a quick fix in the food department, pack some energy bars or trail mix, too.

Finally, some of the locations I mentioned above offer lodging to visitors, in addition to meals and onsite amenities. In the event they don’t, however, plan to bring a tent, sleeping bag, and a container to securely store food wrappers (did you know bears can smell food from 20 miles away?). And ALWAYS pack out what you pack in; in other words, clean up after yourselves, folks.

Note: RumbleOn is an Amazon Affiliate, dedicated to reviewing the best and safest gear and more, for riders everywhere. We may receive commissions if products are purchased from them.

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